"Hidden literary gems"
July 23, 2016 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Writing for the BBC, Lucy Scholes lists "Ten 'Lost' Books You Should Read Now," starting with Teffi's Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea. An excerpt from Memories appeared in The New Yorker in 2014, and a recent article there provided additional background for that book as well as the collection of which the essay "My Dinner with Rasputin" is a part.

Further info on the remaining books:
posted by Wobbuffet (11 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Oooh, a bookish post. I approve. Thanks for sharing. I just finished reading Brad Watson's Miss Jane last night and was looking for something new to read, this is perfectly timed. Thanks for posting.
posted by Fizz at 7:38 PM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Having read two other Comyns books, hearing this one described as her most bonkers is really exciting.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:47 PM on July 23, 2016

About half this list looks fascinating. Thanks!
posted by praemunire at 7:49 PM on July 23, 2016

That David Seabrook book sounds interesting, and Amazon has a Kindle version, which is great because the cheapest available paperback it lists is 360-something dollars, and the price goes up astronomically from there.

I would love to hear opinions of the Pressburger from anyone here who has read it.
posted by old_growler at 8:47 PM on July 23, 2016

Thank you! These look wonderful!!!
posted by shibori at 11:13 PM on July 23, 2016

Isabel Colegate was one of my finds this year - not through The Shooting Party, but rather her collection of novellas, A Glimpse of Sion's Glory, which is wonderful and weird. Have read Bemelman's super fun memoirs, and definitely love the idea of more. Great post!
posted by Gin and Broadband at 4:38 AM on July 24, 2016

Some number of years ago, some place published a list of neglected but great books and each book was cited by a different distinquished critic reviewer. What made this list nice was that it was from the sensibility of a number of people rather than one person.
posted by Postroad at 7:54 AM on July 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Previously, re Bemelsman
posted by BWA at 8:31 AM on July 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

some place published a list of neglected but great books and each book was cited by a different distinquished critic reviewer

One list I recall like that is this one from The Guardian in 2007. What still makes it memorable to me is this quote from Michael Chabon:
The Long Ships (1941-45)

Frans Gunnar Bengtsson

I personally guarantee that, however infinitesimally, the world would be a happier place if this wonderful novel, in its excellent English translation by Michael Meyer, were restored to print. A tale of Viking adventure set in the 10th century, what makes The Long Ships such a delicious book is not its thrilling escapes, battles and rescues, nor its lifelike, morally ambiguous heroes and villains, but the droll, astringent, sly tone taken by the narrator toward the characters, particularly with regard to their relations to God, gold and sex. It's a world classic of the literature of adventure, on a par with The Three Musketeers and The Odyssey, its avowed models.
On the strength of that recommendation, I ordered a used copy sight unseen, and yep, it was totally worth it. The book is now in print with an introduction by Chabon.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:09 AM on July 24, 2016 [8 favorites]

Teffi is a delightful writer, and I'm glad she's finally having her moment in the sun of English translation.

Wobbuffet: Thanks for linking to that Guardian list; I was very pleased to see Hari Kunzru's plug for Victor Serge's The Case of Comrade Tulayev (which I reviewed briefly here), and heartily second the recommendation. As a matter of fact, everything Serge wrote is worth reading. He was one of the few Marxists who retained his honor and integrity throughout as much of the 20th century as he made it through.
posted by languagehat at 11:27 AM on July 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Some great-sounding stuff here that I will attempt to track down forthwith!
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:32 PM on July 24, 2016

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